Audi announced today that its CEO, Prof Rupert Stadler addressed a congress of the United Nations about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for the benefit of humankind. Stadler gave his keynote speech at the first ‘AI for Good Global Summit,’ where he spoke about automated driving presenting an opportunity to improve life significantly, while warning against excessive expectations. This three-day summit is seeing the participation of leading international experts to discuss the potential of AI for solving global challenges.
Stadler said that in situations where an accident is unavoidable, a decision is expected from the autonomous car, but a dilemma situation cannot be solved either by a human or by a machine. Therefore, alongside legal issues, ethical questions about the use of the new technology also needed to be discussed, he added. “We need a discourse in society that looks at the enormous potential of piloted and autonomous driving in relation to the ethical and legal questions,” noted Stadler.
AI is regarded by experts as a key technology for piloted and autonomous driving, where it assists the car in perceiving and interpreting its environment, and deriving decisions from this, noted Audi. The company added that the question arises about who the liability rests with in the case of accidents, and how the car driving autonomously should behave in a situation of unavoidable danger. The automobile industry cannot answer the ethical and legal questions of piloted and autonomous driving alone, noted Stadler. He said science, business, politicians, and society must work together, and as a next step, the initiative will involve further multipliers and take on research cooperations.
Audi said that in the last two years, the company has built up an interdisciplinary network, called ‘Beyond Initiative’ with internationally-recognised experts in AI from the fields of science and business. It added that the initiative focuses on the social effects of AI in the automobile and in the working world.
The second area that beyond initiative focuses on is the future of the working world in the age of AI, noted Audi. Stadler said there is a need for more differentiated understanding of how AI is changing the working world, with an aim of perfect collaboration of humans and machines. The idea of modular assembly without an assembly line is an example of what this interaction could look like in a smart factory, the company added.